UFO Night

by Rachel Beitsch

All the winds in the world
can’t bring me back
to that night 13 years ago
when it all broke down,
a post-Passover panic attack,
the product of a mental schism,
mechanisms I don’t even know.
A world of maybe-I-want-attention,
wanted out of, maybe
otherworldliness that maybe
landed in my yard,
a gust of intervention,
product of my own invention.
Normal ends to long vacations
weren’t good enough.

My brother’s off his medications,
like the rest of us now.
Those pills, I haven’t taken since the age of
maybe the 9th grade.
Or those octagonal tabs that made me too aware
of how many times three hours arrives per day.
No more. I got away.

The wind tonight’s not far
off the scent
of that 13-year-old night–
the UFO night–
the night I went
in trepid steps to find what might
have landed in my back yard.
The breeze was slight, it ruffled my
Maybe that was too much work,
that psycho-pseudo communication.
Maybe it was just too hard
to say it wasn’t anything,
to say this night’s no different
than all the other nights
that pass me by all year,
devoid of all portent.

But now the world’s become more real,
a day at work can do the trick
the psycho-pseudo aliens
used to do.
I’m off my medications,
ethers, dopes, elixirs,
all the patented quick-fixers
that most likely made me sick.
No more running to the window
when the wind blows spring in early.
I can wait it out from here.
I won’t go.
No more.
No back.
No longer any need to nurture
the panic attack.
No UFOs–they don’t exist.
No need to claim a childhood I never missed,
a blissful carelessness
I lived for years.

And maybe this
is what I sought
outside that night,
the end of my vacation,
when I ventured out
to see what might
have landed in my back yard.

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Filed under Issue 2, Poetry

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